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The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Rail Division plans to hold two informal public hearings on Dec. 12 and 13 to review proposed track and grade crossing improvements between Concord and Charlotte. The 12-mile stretch of second track is a part of the Raleigh-to-Charlotte “Piedmont Improvement” program along a North Carolina Railroad Co. (NCRR) and Norfolk Southern Railway route.
The project calls for building an additional track adjacent to existing track along the NCRR/NS line from south of state route 49 near Concord to Orr Road in northeast Charlotte. As part of the work, bridges would be constructed to separate automobile and train traffic.
NCDOT representatives will be available at the meetings to answer questions and obtain feedback about the proposed project. An environmental assessment document already has been prepared and is available for public review.
Meanwhile, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved allocating $20,000 from the Grade Crossing Protective Fund to the Washington & Idaho Railway Inc. (WIR) to upgrade warning signals and replace a battery charger at a crossing in Palouse. The commission also will provide the Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad $5,870 from the fund to upgrade active warning signals and crossbuck signs at a crossing near Kamilche.
WIR will replace mainline track circuits with a motion-sensing unit, upgrade the battery charger to a newer version and replace all batteries. The upgrades must be completed by Sept. 30, 2012, according to the UTC. WIR will cover the cost of labor for the work.
Puget Sound & Pacific will replace crossbucks and upgrade incandescent flashing lights with light-emitting diode-type lights on the cantilever. The upgrades must be completed by Aug. 1, 2012, according to the UTC. Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad also will cover the cost of labor.